BMW sees rise in sales in June mainly thanks to China

German carmaker BMW sold more vehicles of its lead brand in June, mainly thanks to a strong increase in sales in China.

Sales rose worldwide compared to the same month last year by 1.4 per cent to 203,523 cars, the BMW group announced on Wednesday in Munich.

The brand grew significantly, especially in China, selling a fifth of the total there.

BMW has greatly benefited from the fact that several models in its SUV series are no longer manufactured only in the United States, but now also in China.

In the first half of the year, BMW sold 23.1 per cent more vehicles in the SUV series with an X in the model name than in the first six months of the previous year.

That sales jump made up for weakness in the saloon car sector, so that overall BMW saw a rise of 1.6 per cent in premium car sales from January to June to reach 1.08 million vehicles sold.

The company is still lagging in sales of the Mini, which is being switched to electric engines. Older models are no longer in demand.

Including the Mini and the luxury brand Rolls-Royce, BMW saw a rise in sales of just 0.8 per cent year on year to 1.25 million vehicles sold in the first six months of the year.

BMW boss Harald Krueger, who announced his departure last week, said he wanted to see BMW again ahead of rival Mercedes-Benz from the Daimler group in 2020, a position it had to relinquish in 2016.